Hyundai's Senior Marketer Michelle Cervantez Leaves Automaker

Departure Comes Two Months After Arrival of COO Steve Wilhite

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DETROIT (AdAge.com)-- Michelle Cervantez, VP-marketing of Hyundai Motor America since August 2005, left the automaker last week, a company spokesman said, but said he was unable to provide any details at press time.
Hyundai's VP-marketing, Michelle Cervantez, was with the automaker since August 2005.
Hyundai's VP-marketing, Michelle Cervantez, was with the automaker since August 2005. Credit: Hyundai

Ms. Cervantez's departure comes less than two months after the arrival of Chief Operating Officer Steve Wilhite, a marketing and advertising veteran who had been senior VP-global marketing at Nissan Motor Corp. Prior to Nissan, he played a key role in Volkswagen of America's revitalization in the mid-1990s.

Ms. Cervantez started her auto career at Ford Motor Co., where she spent 15 years, including a stint at VP-marketing of Jaguar in the U.S. She left Ford in 2003 to join Mercedes-Benz USA as VP-marketing, but left there for Hyundai.

She could not be reached for comment.

Richards Group, Dallas, is agency of record for the Hyundai brand, which received $425 million in measured media spending last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

Hyundai reported last week that its September sales slid by 13% to 33,384 vehicles from the same month a year ago, saying the decline was due to limited availability of all-new Accents and Elantras, citing plant slowdowns in South Korea last summer and strong demand in other global markets. Through the first nine months of this year, the brand's total sales rose by only 10,000 units from 2005, the carmaker said.
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